Moon Knight Has One of the Darkest Origin Stories in All of the Marvel Comics
The expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe is no stranger to gritty heroes, especially when it comes to the upcoming Moon Knight show. As the name might suggest, the hero's story tends to lean pretty dark and violent. The character's struggle with mental health issues can also cause the him to go to some pretty intense places. But what are his comic origins, and how might they be portrayed in the show?
The upcoming Moon Knight series stars Oscar Issac as Marc Spector, a mercenary who struggles with Dissociative Identity Disorder. He moonlights (no pun intended) as the titular Moon Knight, a hero who draws his powers from the Egyptian god Khonshu. The series also stars Ethan Hawke as controversial religious leader Arthur Harrow and May Calamawy as Layla El-Faouly, a woman from Mark's past.
If his origins in the series are anything like the comics, we could be in for a very dark show.
What are Moon Knight's comic book origins?
The character of Moon Knight first appeared in August of 1975 in an issue of a series called Werewolf by Night, where Moon Knight is hired to apprehend the titular werewolf on the run. After editors Marv Wolfman and Len Wein expressed interest in expanding the character, he would have guest appearances alongside several other heroes like Spider-Man and the Hulk before receiving his first ongoing comic series in 1980. It was here that Moon Knight received his official origin story.
In the comics, Marc Spector is a former CIA operative turned mercenary. After establishing a career of assassination, he eventually earns the ire of an extreme terrorist named Bushman. After being betrayed by Bushman and left for dead in the Egyptian desert, Marc comes across an ancient Egyptian tomb. He then literally dies in front of a statue depicting the Egyptian moon god Khonshu, and he is brought back to life and made a vessel for Khonshu's power.
With a new suit and strange new abilities, Marc becomes a vigilante back in the United States. As Moon Knight, he possesses enhanced speed and strength which are augmented based on the lunar cycle of the moon. His abilities also manifest through his dissociative identity disorder, causing different personas of Moon Knight to occasionally take over. He would go on to fight alongside heroes like the Avengers and the Defenders, all while trying to keep his violent tendencies in check.
The new show aims to be true to the character's nature.
With shows like Daredevil and The Punisher, the MCU has previously displayed a grasp over portraying darker heroes in violent settings. But those shows originated on Netflix, which tends to be more free-wheeling with its content. Disney Plus, on the other hand, is exactly what it sounds like. It's a streaming service that puts its family-friendly content on the forefront while trying to be light on mature media. What does that mean for Moon Knight as a Disney Plus original?
In an interview with Empire, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has assured that the series will stay true to the violent nature of the character.
"There are moments when Moon Knight is wailing on another character and it is loud and brutal, and the knee-jerk reaction is 'we're gonna pull back on this, right?'" Kevin told Empire. "No. We're not pulling back. There's a tonal shift. This is a different thing. This is Moon Knight."
Moon Knight will premiere on March 30 on Disney Plus.